Daniel’s 69 Weeks of Years
Daniel 9:24-27, “Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.
25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks (69 total weeks per vs 25 above)
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
Our focus today will be on verse 25 of Daniel 9. It is commonly understood in the scholarly world that Daniel’s 70 weeks are 70 weeks of years or 490 years in the total prophecy. We are only concerned today with the first 69 weeks, or 483 years. 69 X 7 = 483. 483 prophetic years of 360 days each = 173,880 prophetic days, from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem, until Messiah the Prince.
In all of human history, there is ONLY ONE stretch of time in history that fits Daniel’s prophecy. Now, doesn’t that sound like Yahweh? He wants us to understand His Word and His prophets’ visions. Sir Robert Anderson, in his great book, The Coming Prince, identified this ancient stretch of human history as the period of time from Nisan 1, 445 BCE, which was the 20th year of Artaxerxes I Longimanus, to Nisan 10, 32 CE, when Yeshua rode a donkey into Jerusalem, identifying Himself as the Messiah of Israel. That was the only time during Yeshua’s ministry that He publicly identified Himself as the Messiah of all Israel, and the people heralded Him as such. See Matthew 21 and John 12. Yeshua, the Lamb of Yahweh who was to take away the sins of the world, was selected on Nisan 10, according to the commandment of Moses, as the sacrificial Lamb, to be inspected by the elders for 4 days until His crucifixion on Nisan 14, 32 CE.
In order to squeeze 173,880 prophetic days into this age span, we needed an early Nisan 1 in 445 BCE and a late Nisan 10 in 32 CE, and that is exactly what the calendar reveals. No other close years qualify, period, per Sir Robert Anderson. Nisan 1 in the Jewish year of 3316 was March 8, 445 BCE Gregorian, a very early Nisan 1. Nisan 1 in 445 BCE was Julian Serial Day number 1558959. Nisan 10 in the Jewish year 3792 was April 8, 32 CE, a very late Nisan 10. Nisan 10 in 32 CE was Julian Serial Day number 1732846. 1732846 – 1558959 = 173,887 days. King Artaxerxes I Longimanus most likely DID make his proclamation in the first week of Nisan, 445 BCE, fulfilling Daniel 9:25 EXACTLY. Isn’t Yahweh amazing?
What has thrown prophecy students and scholars off for hundreds of years is the fact that our Western mindset was looking for Yahweh to fulfill Daniel 9 in SOLAR CALENDAR YEARS, not Hebrew lunar prophetic years of 360 days each. Notice that the 483 prophetic years that equal 173,880 prophetic days = only a little over 476 solar years! 173,880 / 365.25 = 476 years and 21 days!
So, let’s go to the Scriptures and appreciate the breadth and depth of the drama in Nehemiah’s life at the time. Humble Nehemiah reminds me of Daniel. Notice how similar their two prayers were, Daniel’s in Daniel 9 and Nehemiah’s in Nehemiah 1. Nehemiah 1, “The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev (9th month in Hebrew year, fall 446 BCE), in the twentieth year (of King Artaxerxes’ reign), as I was in Shushan the citadel, 2that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” 4So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the Mighty One of heaven.
5And I said: “I pray, Yahweh Mighty One of heaven, O great and awesome Mighty One, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, 6please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. 7We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; 9but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ 10Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. 11O Yahweh, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man (King Artaxerxes I).” For I was the king’s cupbearer.”
After this great prayer, Nehemiah proceeds to the King with fear and trembling, Nehemiah 2, “And it came to pass in the month of Nisan (first month in Hebrew calendar, spring 445 BCE), in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes (Artaxerxes I, Longimanus, fall 446 to fall 445 BCE), when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. 2Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.”
So I became dreadfully afraid, 3and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?”
4Then the king said to me, “What do you request?”
So I prayed to the Mighty One of heaven. 5And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
6Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the (Euphrates) River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, 8and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple (2nd Temple, finished and dedicated in 515 BCE), for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my Mighty One upon me.
9Then I went to the governors in the region beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters (known as the FOURTH DECREE by a Persian king to help the Hebrews). Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. 10When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.
11So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my Mighty One had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem; nor was there any animal with me, except the one on which I rode. 13And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well and the Refuse Gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were burned with fire. 14Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal under me to pass. 15So I went up in the night by the valley, and viewed the wall; then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, or the others who did the work.
17Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” 18And I told them of the hand of my Mighty One which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me.
So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.
19But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?” 20So I answered them, and said to them, “The Mighty One of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem.””
Even though the second Temple in Jerusalem had been completed and dedicated 70 years earlier, Judah and Jerusalem were still not a renewed political entity. This FOURTH DECREE by a Persian king, that sent Nehemiah to Judah as the new governor and construction project manager, helped re-establish Judah as a political realm, with its fortified capital in Jerusalem.
Read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, which began as ONE book in the Scriptures, and see the wonder of how precisely and exactly this decree by King Artaxerxes I Longimanus in Nisan, 445 BCE, fulfilled Daniel 9:25. Nehemiah was sent to RESTORE Jerusalem, from a non-political city to a renewed political entity. Nehemiah was sent to REBUILD Jerusalem, which he did, by building up houses, the citadel of the Temple, and the wall and gates around Jerusalem. Verse 25 specifies the REBUILDING OF THE WALL, and the streets of Jerusalem, which Nehemiah accomplished in his 11 year, 52 day building project. And this building project was to occur in troublous times, which were provided by all the enemies of Judah living in and near Jerusalem. The Decree by King Artaxerxes I Longimanus is the ONLY DECREE by a Persian king that fulfills Daniel 9 exactly. That decree, issued in the first week of Nisan, 445 BCE, launched Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy!!
173,880 prophetic days later, or 69 weeks of prophetic years of 360 days each, Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling Daniel 9:25 and Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” Most of Christendom has believed for centuries that Yeshua rode into Jerusalem, either in the spring of 30 CE or the spring of 33 CE, but now we know, through the fulfilled 69-weeks prophecy of Daniel 9:25, that Yeshua could ONLY have ridden into Jerusalem on Nisan 10, 32 CE.
Now, we long for and eagerly await the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, the final 7 years of human history as we know it. But that’s a post for another day. Daniel 9:24-25 clearly depicts 3 periods of time, 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and 1 week. 69 weeks have been fulfilled, only 1 week remains to unfold in Yahweh’s prophetic timeline. We are barely into the early birth pangs now, so hold to your faith and look for Yeshua’s return!
Gene Benjamin II
May 6, 2012 CE